14 August 2020

Defending champion Bianca Andreescu withdraws from US Open

US Open champion Bianca Andreescu will not defend her title in New York later this month due to the coronavirus pandemic halting her return from injury.

The 20-year-old won her first Grand Slam with a sensational victory over Serena Williams in the final of the 2019 tournament.

Andreescu could still feature in the postponed French Open later this year (SIPA USA/PA Images)

But difficulties getting back to match sharpness as a result of injury and the lack of events has forced the Canadian to delay her return until after the US Open.

She becomes the latest player to pull out of the tournament after Rafa Nadal, Ashleigh Barty, Elina Svitolina and Kiki Bertens all declared they would not be taking part.

Announcing her withdrawal from the tournament on social media, she said: "After many discussions with those closest to me, I have made the difficult decision not to return to New York this year. 

"I have taken this step in order to focus on my match fitness and ensure that I return ready to play at my highest level.

"The US Open victory last year has been the high point of my career thus far and I will miss not being there. However, I realize that the unforeseen challenges, including the Covid pandemic, have compromised my ability to prepare and compete to the degree necessary to play at my highest level.

"I want to express my appreciation to the USTA and the WTA for all of their efforts in making the event happen. I look forward to joining my competitors back on court soon."

Andreescu will now target the French Open as the next major competition to prepare for.

Roland Garros was originally due to begin on May 24 but was postponed until September 27 as a result of the pandemic.

Last year, Andreescu withdrew from the Paris-based Grand Slam after her first round victory because of injury.

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